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Ridgeons' Su Britter on building a positive team

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HR director Su Britter at Ridgeons. Picture: Keith Heppell
HR director Su Britter at Ridgeons. Picture: Keith Heppell

Our focus on talent and skills, in association with Grant Thornton, continues with look at builders merchants Ridgeons, newly acquired by Huws Gray

HR director Su Britter at Ridgeons. Picture: Keith Heppell
HR director Su Britter at Ridgeons. Picture: Keith Heppell

The Ridgeon Group has been a family-owned business for 107 years, operating from 41 sites throughout the East of England, incorporating Ridgeons Timber & Builders Merchant, PlumbStock, Anglia Tool Centre and Ridgeons Forest Products.

The group announced last month that it has been acquired by Huws Gray, the builders merchants based in Anglesey, Wales, which has ambitious plans for the growth of the Ridgeons brands.

Su Britter, HR director, joined Ridgeons in October 2017. Su is an expert in all areas of HR, recruitment and talent management with a successful track record across several major companies within construction, fashion, betting and the food retail sector.

Due to the variety of businesses within the Ridgeon Group, there is a need to recruit for a broad range of roles. These include positions such as manufacturing, customer service, sales, administration, HR, finance, IT, buying and health and safety.

Su says the Ridgeons team are motivated by their values and in building positive relationships with their customers, colleagues and the local communities where they live and trade.

These beliefs are reflected in the company’s five behavioural values known as ‘The Edge’. When recruiting new colleagues, the company actively seeks candidates who demonstrate ‘The Edge Behaviours’ which are:

1. Putting yourself in the customer’s shoes: “Giving extraordinary service every single time, to both internal and external customers.”

2. Do it today: “Dealing with urgent challenges in an effective way and taking the initiative to anticipate future opportunities and challenges.”

3. Be a great team player: “Developing collaborative and co-operative team working by showing concern, respect and recognition towards your colleagues, building beneficial long-term relationships internally and externally to achieve the desired results.”

4. Challenge yourself every day: “Taking personal responsibility for achieving results and striving to do things better than you did yesterday, by valuing continuous learning and development.”

5. Taking ownership: “Accepting full responsibility for your own behaviour and contribution to achieving the business strategy and encouraging other colleagues to do the same.”

Su said: “Our progressive learning and development initiatives allow us to recruit based on desired behaviours, ensuring we have the right people, with the right cultural fit, in the appropriate roles.

“We are then able to train colleagues on the technical aspects of their roles using product training and apprentice schemes. For example, this has enabled us to have a timber specialist in every branch.

“One of the true benefits of this is we can recruit people with no experience in the industry and help them succeed in their ambitions.”

She explained: “The Edge Leadership Development program was launched in 2014. It was created with Grant Thornton and based on a coaching ethos. This has enabled our managers to become engaging leaders and has helped us to promote from within increasing internal placements from 33 per cent to 42 per cent over 12 months, which we aim to continue to increase moving forward.

“In the last year we have been forging relationships with local schools alongside Form the Future (an organisation that helps students think broadly and about their future career options) by supporting them with mock interviews, CV-writing workshops and careers fairs. We also offer work experience and apprenticeships.”

If you are interested in applying for a role at Ridgeons, visit ridgeons.co.uk.

:: This article is part of our latest series, focusing on skills and talent, published in association with Grant Thornton and its Vibrant Economy initiative.

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